Review: Race Driver: GRID
Posted 16 Aug 2008 at 17:18 by Mark Lee
|"To offer this much contrast on the DS is astonishing and it certainly pushes the title nearer to a home console presentation."|
When Race Driver: Create and Race hit the DS last year, many gamers were delighted that the DS finally had a 'serious' racer for the system. Yet rather than relying on its "simulation" angle, developers Firebrand went the extra mile with many features which many expected to solely rest in home console versions. Multiple cars, simulation aspects, varied tracks and creation tools were all included and the title also looked and sounded the part. Needless to say, the title was well received and critically acclaimed.
So here we are a year later and the sequel, subtitled "GRID" is finally here. Improving on the successful foundations laid down in its predecessor was pretty much what we expected from GRID and that's exactly what we have here.
Bonnet view: a must for all serious racers.
Having already created some of the best 3D work on the system, Firebrand have taken that prior template and so GRID undoubtedly looks sublime. Furthermore, the varied locales certainly one-up the previous title as races take place in many different parts of the world with the track designs of each area mimicking their settings. Race in the United Kingdom and you'll have country-like, hill-ridden roads to navigate.
Yet race in the USA and you're going to be shunting your way around tight, skyscraper-laden streets. To say GRID looks good is an understatement. To offer this much contrast on the DS is astonishing and it certainly pushes the title nearer to a home console presentation. Throw in the genuinely engrossing audio, engine growls, tire screeches and impact noises and you've got the lot. But as any racer will tell you: control is everything in racing...
Thankfully the controls are identical to last year's title and are therefore wonderfully responsive. For a DS title the control is surprisingly tactile, giving the player control of every single tweak of the cars road position, yet still coming across as having arcade-like trappings. Even with this notion of fun, the controls err on the simulation side of things yet this gives the title surprising depth as truly mastering the controls of each car (and the varying tracks) can certainly take time.
When in motion, GRID certainly looks the part.
Throw in some great tests, such as creating tracks for reputation points and racing 1vs1 around tight streets and your mastering of the controls will prove to be the barometer in which success and failure rests upon. Additionally, with Wi-Fi options (taking the title online for a random/friend match is seamless) you'll be able to separate the Hamiltons from the Badoers.
And so GRID offers DS race-fans more of the same quality which Race Driver boasted before it. Just about beating its predecessor the finish line, GRID becomes the best simulation racer on the DS. Additionally, throw in the excellent customisation features (including the ever brilliant track creator) and GRID is a must-have for those who love to race on the go.
N-Europe Final Verdict
With great graphics and stellar gameplay, GRID offers DS owners a fantastic console experience on the go. It's more of the same, but with more vehicles, tracks and customisation options GRID will keep all who play it race-happy.
Some of the best 3D on the DS
Great sensation of speed
A host of things to see and do
Feels a little too similar to Race Driver